Gig&Tell: Gretna Theatre

  • SO MUCH HEART    
    09/28/2012  5:13pm

    I have worked for Gretna Theatre a few times. I have nothing but lovely things to say about this theatre.

    Larry Frenock, Producing Artistic Director of Gretna, is a wonderful man who will literally work all day and all night to make sure a show is ready. He is more hands-on than any producer I have ever met. He cares so much about keeping everyone happy, not overworking people and everyone involved having a great experience. A LOVELY, LOVELY MAN whose love for theatre is contagious.

    The rest of the team at Gretna including Renee Krizan, Associate Producer and Christian Saint-Girard, Casting Director all support Larry's positive vision for the theatre and make it a lovely place to work.

    Now, the saying goes "what's the easiest way to make an actor complain" - "give him a job" - so of course, you are going to hear negative comments about every theatre, and Gretna has some negatives to it. Sometimes the housing isn't spectacular, the pay doesn't usually meet people's standards, sometimes some things just are not perfect. But, this is summer stock. It is WONDERFUL summer stock - with heart.

    Gretna has 2-3 AEA contracts per show and Christian Saint-Girard has some magical way of finding the most appropriate person for each role. He attracts incredible talent and wonderfully-positive people to fill the AEA slots. It is such an amazing learning experience for the Non-AEA ensemble to learn from. A healthy environment to grow in.

    If you have an offer from Gretna, know that it can be your most memorable summer ever, if you go in with that kind of mindset. So often we let ourselves get caught up with that "Negative Nancy" who finds something wrong with everything. IF you find the "Positive Polly" like me, you'll LOVE your Gretna experience.

    The heart that comes through in their productions makes up for any lack of production value.

    One other note: Gretna is a covered theatre, with open-air walls. Absolutely beautiful setting and location in a cute little tourist town of Mt. Gretna, PA. Tons of cute cottages, a lake that offers Gretna Theatre actors free membership, trails, etc. But, it gets WARM on that partially-outdoor stage! Just be advised.

    This review is spot on. I have worked at Mt. Gretna a few summers as well where I experienced some of the most rewarding and memorable weeks of my life. Just the lovliest of people in a very special summer place.

    02/07/2016  11:48pm

    Can anyone comment on their non-eq pay?

    02/16/2016  2:41pm

    Non-union pay is typically $300/wk

    I LOVED working at Gretna Theatre. The people are great and the staff and stage managers really care about their actors. It's a beautiful area and I had great cast mates that made my time there extra enjoyable.

    The only possible downside is the host housing. The theater doesn't have its own actors housing, so volunteers open their homes for the actors. So besides the rehearsal room and the theater, it's possible for each actor to have a different summer experience depending on your housing assignments.

    That being said, my cast had multiple parties during our run, hosted by the housing volunteers. Therefore everyone still got to bond with each other outside of the show.

    The theater is also near a lake, of which all the actors get free admission to (Normally $16). This was perfect during our one show days, hanging out at the lake before a performance.

    Call times are only 30mins before curtain, so you don't need to be at the theater early if you don't want to.

    All actors were able to get professional photos taken of the dress rehearsal. Which we were able to post and use freely as we liked.

    Also, only 25mins away from Hershey Theme Park! Roller coasters on your day off!

    Again, my time was special and I would gladly come back to work at Gretna.

    08/07/2016  12:08pm

    The new management team is clueless and doesn't respect actors. Housing is in private homes miles and miles away from anything.

    03/15/2017  2:56pm